Many truck stops offer amenities to attract RVers to their establishments. So we wondered if that includes RV dump stations.
If you park your RV outside of standard campgrounds often, you’ll dump your tanks in some interesting places.
Truck stops are great for filling up on fuel, grabbing some snacks, and even resting at the end of a long travel day. But do they have RV dump stations?
Let’s find out!
What Is a Dump Station?
A dump station is a designated station for RVers to dump wastewater. These stations allow RVers to connect a standard RV sewer hose to their RV and then connect the other end to a hole in the ground. The wastewater from an RV’s waste tanks travels through the sewer hose and into a large tank or sewer system.
Dump stations typically can handle various-sized rigs and will often have non-potable water to flush your sewer tanks and clean up any spills. Some nicer dump stations will even have potable water for RVers to fill up their freshwater tanks.
The freshwater connection must be far enough from the dump station to avoid contamination. Always make sure the water is marked as potable. If there is no sign, it’s non-potable water.
Do Truck Stops Have Dump Stations?
Many truck stops have RV dump stations, but not every truck stop offers the service. Depending on the location, some large truck stop chains accommodate RVs and offer specific fuel lanes for RVs. These can include services that RVs typically require. You’re able to get not only fuel but also freshwater, air for tires, and a sewer dump if you’re lucky.
While some of the larger chains do offer a dump station, some locally-owned truck stops do as well. However, maintaining dump stations and operating them is not cheap. Many locations will discontinue offering the service once a significant repair is needed. It’s typically not a cost-effective amenity for them to offer.
How Do I Know If a Truck Stop Has One?
You may not notice them unless you’re looking for them, but there are often dump station signs along the highway. These signs show an RV and have an arrow pointing down into an empty tank in the ground. These are typically rectangular signs that are brown and white. You can find them posted at exit ramps, informational signs, or at a truck stop.
However, just because there’s a sign doesn’t mean the dump station is in operation. The sign may be old and reflect a day when the dump station was previously open.
Truck stops like Loves, Pilot/Flying J, and TA will often have lists with locations that offer dump stations. They’ll also typically include the contact information to call ahead, so you don’t make an unnecessary stop if their dump station is no longer active.
Is There an App for RV Dump Stations?
Several apps exist that allow you to search areas and limit responses based on specific criteria. Some of the most popular apps for this are Campendium, iOverlander, RV Dump Stations, and AllStays.
One of the great things about these apps is that they rely on user-submitted feedback. Users leave information that benefits others who might use the dump station. One may be incredibly difficult for RVs over a particular length or require a specific entrance to position the RV for dumping.
Which Truck Stops Have Them?
Many big truck stop chains offer RV dump stations at some locations. Locations like Loves, Pilot/Flying J, and TA/Petro will often do their best to meet the needs of RVers. However, it’s important to know that not every truck stop offers the service. For example, Pilot/Flying J has nearly 700 locations, but only 190 provide an RV dump station.
Truck-stop dump stations are relatively few and far between in many locations. However, if you do a little bit of planning and research, you may discover a convenient RV dump station along your route. Pilot/Flying J even has an app that can help you plan your route so you can stop at their truck stops.
You can often fill up on fuel, stock up on snacks, and dump your tanks all in one location!
How Much Does It Cost to Dump RV Tanks at a Flying J?
If you find yourself at a Flying J with a dump station and need to empty your tanks, expect to pay around $10 to dump your tanks. Some locations offer discounts if you’re a member of a loyalty program or use a specific type of card for payment.
Some sites even give special discounts for Good Sam RV club members.
Is Using RV Dump Stations Worth It?
When you need to dump, you need to dump. Depending on how desperate you are to find a dump station, it could be worth paying $10 or $15 to dump your tanks. However, many RVers will find a budget-friendly campground with a dump station or full hookups.
With some campsites costing $15-$25, it’s worth a few extra bucks to empty and flush your tanks and not have to worry about how much water you’re using for a night or two. What’s the most surprising place you’ve found an RV dump station?
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